Shohei Ohtani made it to Angels opening day lineup, despite a rough spring

first_imgOAKLAND — In the end, talent and history won out over spring training statistics.On opening day, Shohei Ohtani was in the Angels lineup, the designated hitter batting eighth. He will start as a pitcher on Sunday afternoon, in the fourth game of the season.All of that seemed questionable at times during a spring training when Ohtani struggled to perform.When it came down to decision time, though, the Angels put little weight on what he’d done in March, instead looking at his performances over the past five years in Japan and his raw tools. A healthy Garrett Richards opens Angels’ season with optimism A look at the 2018 Angels, position by position “We’re going to see how this goes,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “The way it’s mapped out, especially with a six-man rotation, it gives us a chance to be very feasible. We just want to see how it works out… There’s a lot on his plate. He feels very comfortable he’s going to be able to handle it.” “With all of our players we try to make them as comfortable as possible so we look into historical workloads with everybody and try to allow that to happen if possible,” he said. “With the other starters in our rotation or guys who are candidates to join our rotation at some point in time, biomechanically and from a workload management standpoint, the less load and volume it stands to reason he greater the opportunity for recovery is.”As for his hitting, in the spring the Angels had him available to hit any day except the day before and after he pitched. If they continue that, he could hit again on Friday night, and then not until Tuesday, the Angels second home game of the season.center_img Angels hope newcomers can boost offense, key improvement in 2018 “Our evaluations, historical evaluations plus the track record in a league which we deem as close to the major leagues as you can get, point us in the direction of saying, ‘Give this guy the opportunity to let his ability and his tools show,’” general manager Billy Eppler said before Thursday’s opener. “So that’s what were going to do.”Now that he’s on the major league roster, it seems the Angels are going to stick close to what Ohtani’s routine was in Japan. His first start will come on seven days rest from his last outing of the spring. He has started only one time in the spring on less than six days rest, and that was following a 31-pitch outing.Eppler wouldn’t say if the Angels plan to keep him pitching once a week indefinitely.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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